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Is perlite safe for parrots?

squeak514

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It's been a few months, but unfortunately, my lovebird discovered the new houseplant. Typically she chews on the leaves, but here lately, she's been going for the soil, specifically the perlite I mixed in with it. I've had to take it out of her beak on multiple occasions only for her to return right back to the plant.

Due to this, I was wondering if the perlite rocks are safe for parrots? If so, I wouldn't mind if she wanted to play with them. I'd simply rather be safe than sorry.
 

CrazyKozmo

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What I can find on the internet basically says the perlite may cause illness or harm when ingested. I wouldn't let my parrot eat/play with it. Is the plant that your parrot chews on bird safe? You may want to try sprouting seeds (I get my supplies from sproutpeople.com) and see it that might satisfy this behavior.
 

Destiny

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I would recommend removing the plant or covering the soil to prevent the parrot from accessing it. Beyond the risk of ingesting the pearlite itself, soil can harbor harmful bacteria and parasites, as well as potentially having fertilizers or other chemicals used to keep the plant healthy.
 

fluffypoptarts

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No, none of that stuff is ultimately safe. Risk of bacteria and ingesting foreign or poisonous substances. Keep her out of that plant. Move it or cover it, whatever you have to do.
 

squeak514

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I keep kalanchoe and a maidenhair fern, both of which should be safe according to what I've read. I'm not fond of her chewing on either one of them considering it destroys the plant, so I typically do remove her quickly before any damage can be done. However, I will absolutely look into growing something she can eat!

In the meantime, I will search for ways to keep her distracted. Hopefully she'll begin to ignore the plants as she did before.

Thank you all for the advice!
 

camelotshadow

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Perlite is a volcanic glass that is heated to 1,600 degrees F. (871 C.) whereupon it pops much like popcorn and expands to 13 times its former size, resulting in an incredibly lightweight material.

Don't imagine it could be too good. Its abrasive & friable. Those tiny particles could get caught in the lining of digestive tract. Its not good to inhale the dust or particles either.


Read more at Gardening Know How: What Is Perlite: Learn About Perlite Potting Soil StackPath
 

squeak514

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Perlite is a volcanic glass that is heated to 1,600 degrees F. (871 C.) whereupon it pops much like popcorn and expands to 13 times its former size, resulting in an incredibly lightweight material.

Don't imagine it could be too good. Its abrasive & friable. Those tiny particles could get caught in the lining of digestive tract. Its not good to inhale the dust or particles either.


Read more at Gardening Know How: What Is Perlite: Learn About Perlite Potting Soil StackPath
Lord, that does sound awful. She just began to get into it today, and I got it out of her beak as soon as possible, so I'm hoping she should be okay. Thank you for the information!
 

Arbie

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What I can find on the internet basically says the perlite may cause illness or harm when ingested. I wouldn't let my parrot eat/play with it. Is the plant that your parrot chews on bird safe? You may want to try sprouting seeds (I get my supplies from sproutpeople.com) and see it that might satisfy this behavior.
Hi CrazyKozmo, Just reading this and curious as to the site/publication you refer to citing, "perlite may cause illness or harm when ingested" and what species they were observing. Adding to my collection for documentation. Thank you very much, Arbie
 

CrazyKozmo

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Hi CrazyKozmo, Just reading this and curious as to the site/publication you refer to citing, "perlite may cause illness or harm when ingested" and what species they were observing. Adding to my collection for documentation. Thank you very much, Arbie
I'm lucky if I remember last week, much less over a year ago! I probably googled the question. Anything that I google on the topic now (over a year later) says to keep away from pets. That's all I need to know to not expose my birds to the substance. Sorry I'm not more help.
 
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